Emsisoft Emergency Kit review

Check your computer for malware and clean it up without installing extra tools

TechRadar Verdict

While not as advanced as many malware protection tools, Emsisoft Emergency Kit may well be enough to get you out of a sticky situation and get your infected PC back on its feet.


  • +

    Runs as a portable app

  • +

    Command line option for pros

  • +

    Also removes potentially unwanted programs


  • -

    Slow install and update process

  • -

    Not as effective as resident tools

  • -

    Clean-up only, no protection

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We all know about the importance of malware protection, but – like backing up data – it's all too easy to keep putting it off until it's too late. If your computer is exhibiting signs of some form of infection, you may well find that it's not possible to install protective software after the fact, or it might be that your protection has been disabled or interfered with.

Emsisoft Emergency Kit

Where to download: http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/eek/

Type: Anti-malware

Developer: Emsisoft

Operating system: Windows

Version: 2017

This is where the appropriately named Emsisoft Emergency Kit can help you out. This malware detection and removal tool picks up the presence of trojans, spyware, adware, worms, dialers, keyloggers and viruses, and can be run straight from a USB drive – perfect if you're unable to download or install software on the affected PC. You can also scan for rootkits, but this means that you have to enable the Direct Disk Access mode which is significantly slower than normal.

The toolkit is compatible with all versions of Windows and it's available in 32- and 64-bit variants. System requirements are low and the scanner uses just 200MB of RAM, which Emsisoft says is "quite low considering the 10 million signatures that it must load".

User experience

Despite the fact this is a portable app, Emsisoft Emergency Kit works much like any installable desktop program. When you run it, you will be prompted to install the latest updates so you can be sure than scans check for the most recent threats, and then you’re ready to go. 

There's no need to adjust any options if you don't feel like it, because the program is pre-configured with the settings suitable for most situations. Just perform a scan and any nasties that are found can be immediately deleted or moved into quarantine. Options are self-explanatory, but one minor quibble is that the program doesn’t appear in the taskbar (although it does show up when you use [Alt]+[Tab] to switch through running programs).

Latest updates

The latest version of Emsisoft Emergency Kit features several big fixes, security enhancements and stability improvements. For full details, see the Emsisoft Emergency Kit release notes.

The competition

Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

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